5G represents the evolution of the telco ecosystem, towards a new network with ultra-high capacity, low delay, improved flexibility and for an extremely high number of diversified devices and applications. Fraunhofer FOKUS has prepared a set of research and testing environments for the core network related enhancements and improvements necessary to meet the expectations of 5G:
The 5G Playground is a live R&D testbed were researchers and engineers are able to bring their own prototypes and build together the 5G environment. It enables the evaluation, validation, interoperability and demonstration in a comprehensive environment, for new ideas, prototypes and solutions.
The playground platform is composed of the following practical toolkits:
Open5GCore, a pre-standard software toolkit for the 5G Networks
OpenSDNCore, a practical implementation of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN) paradigms, aiming at virtual functions deployments on top of carrier-grade, cloud based infrastructures.
Open5GMTC, an R&D prototype, providing advanced features for device and connectivity management of a very large number of wireless devices (human controlled or machines).
The competence center NGNI of Fraunhofer FOKSU and the chair AV of TU Berlin are developing the new OpenSDNCore toolkit to investigate the potential, opportunities and challenges on applying SDN principles on telecommunication networks.
Having a large historical background on research and development on telecommunication networks, we are now investigating the impact of SDN in telecommunication networks. In particular we are addressing the following non-exclusive research areas in SDN/telco:
Applying SDN concepts on the telecommunication networks enables flexibility on the data plane and increases the performance at the same time. Current resource limitations in today’s networks are addressed through this approach. Fraunhofer FOKUS and TU Berlin are developing OpenFlow support within the OpenEPC for validating and proof the presented concept.
Since mature cloud computing solutions are already existing and commercially available, our research efforts target specific open issues in the area of cloud federation and the applicability of clouds to the Telco domain.
While intra-cloud service offerings can be handled today, the migration of services between clouds is still an open issue today. This is due to the lack of widely accepted standards and agreed inter-cloud interfaces. Our research is centered on cloud federation and seamless integration of services between different cloud providers. This enables a number of scenarios for different sectors (e.g. Energy – “Follow the sun", IT – “Shortest link to my virtual computer", etc.)
In the Telco domain, cloud scenarios for fixed and mobile services offer a range of new business models and revenue streams. Due to reduced requirements for upfront investment, out- and In-sourcing of services offers new possibilities to SMEs and startups to get their business from the ground. The flexibility and elasticity of the cloud in combination with cloud-based Telco SDPs allow operators to quickly adapt to new situations and react to market demands rapidly. Smaller companies and individuals benefit from a low risk of acquiring (on demand) high end computing infrastructure and are relived at the same time from time and resource consuming tasks like maintenance, security updates, etc.
Also for smart cities and in the context of the currently ongoing Future Internet discussions, cloud scenarios are highly interesting for supporting future applications, e-government services and regional service markets. Many regional data and service providers like governmental authorities, insurance companies, power suppliers, etc. would benefit from integrated processes to share data and enable the composition of new services (e.g. the “house-moving application").